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You ain’t seen nothin’ yet

Jane Reuter

SILVERTHORNE – If Silverthorne’s traffic backups are giving you a headache now, put the aspirin bottle in your car and grit your teeth. Conditions aren’t going to improve anytime soon.

Work that’s now confined to small areas near the Interstate 70 interchange and the under-construction Target store will extend later this summer into Dillon. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plans to repave Highways 6 and 9 from Eagles Nest in Silverthorne to Lake Dillon Drive, a project that will begin in about two weeks and continue for another month to two months after that.

“We’re far from done,” said Silverthorne Public Works Director Bill Linfield. “The end result hopefully will make it better for everybody, but it’s certainly inconvenient for all of us while it’s happening.”

The repaving portion is one facet of the project under way now, though Silverthorne is doing its own work on a portion of Highway 9 north near the Target site.

“There are basically two projects happening simultaneously that are affecting traffic,” Linfield said. “One is the highway project, the overlay, which includes the new median and widened highway between Wildernest and I-70.”

“The widening is about done, and the new median is scheduled to go in next week and then things will get quieter in that portion of the highway.”

That portion of the project includes an additional lane on southbound Highway 9 travelers for vehicles heading to eastbound I-70. That’s forced CDOT to work on both sides of Highway 9.

“In order to add the new lane on the south side in front of Acorn and the Remax building, we had to widen the highway north toward Wendy’s because that’s where the right-of-way was,” Linfield said. “So the whole road is sort of shifting.”

The median will extend from the I-70 interchange to Wildernest Road, preventing the hodge-podge of traffic problems created by cars crossing the center to access the I-70 westbound onramp from Texaco and Domino’s and Blue Valley Liquors from northbound Highway 9.

“The second project is the Target project at Annie Road,” Linfield said. “Things are pretty screwy because of several things that had to be put in across the highway, including conduits for the new signal at Annie Road, a new drainage culvert and undergrounding existing overhead utility lines.”

As part of the repaving project, CDOT will first mill and then pave the highway.

“Quite a bit of the milling will be done at night to try to minimize some of the impacts, but all of the paving will be done during the day,” Linfield said, adding it’s work that needs to be done.

“Portions of that road were originally built 20 years ago and have never been overlaid,” he said. “The end result will be a nice improvement.”

CDOT is giving its workers and holiday travelers a break from construction today through July 7, but work resumes Monday.

“We’ve got to do it when the weather’s nice, which is also when we get some of our heaviest traffic,” Linfield said. “There’s been a real push to get as much done as we could before the Fourth, but there’s just no other way to do it other than during construction season, which is summer.”

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com


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